Legal advocate and lawyer-in-training Kim Kardashian is calling for the release of Atlanta rapper Gunna — who was arrested in May on a count of criminal racketeering — from jail. For weeks, attorneys for Gunna have been petitioning for his release on bond; earlier this month, a judge denied the request for the second time. Enter Kim: “#FreeGunna,” she tweeted on Wednesday.
Gunna, whose legal name is Sergio Kitchens, was arrested as part of a sprawling indictment against fellow Atlanta rapper Young Thug and 26 members of his record-label collective, Young Stoner Life, on alleged conspiracy to violate Georgia’s criminal racketeering law, or RICO. According to the New York Times, the indictment names the members of the YSL collective — including Gunna — as members of alleged criminal street gang Young Slime Life. Young Thug’s lawyer denied the allegations, saying that YSL refers to its members as the “Slime Family” and that the collective is not a gang. For his part, Gunna’s lawyer maintained his innocence and claimed that the indictment — which used YSL rap lyrics as evidence — “falsely portrays [Gunna’s] music as part of criminal conspiracy.” The use of rap lyrics as criminal evidence has prompted a widespread backlash with many calling to end the prosecutorial tactic and criticizing its racist conflation of rap with criminal activity. Per Billboard, Gunna is expected to remain in jail until his trial begins in 2023; one of his co-counsels tells the publication that he “deserves better from our justice system.”
Kim appears to agree, and her legal-advocacy track record is pretty good: In recent years, she’s waged campaigns for overlooked prisoners and successfully lobbied the White House to commute life sentences, including that of Alice Marie Johnson, a 67-year-old woman who was charged with drug possession and money laundering in 1996, and Chris Young, who was sentenced to life over drug charges in 2014, when he was 22. Kim’s advocacy was the subject of the 2020 Oxygen documentary Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project, and she passed her First-Year Law Students’ Examination, or “baby bar,” last year. “You’re the lawyer, shawty,” one Twitter user replied to her #FreeGunna tweet. “DO SOMETHING 😂😂😂😂😂.”